Question an industry, not the sustainable start-up; why sustainable entrepreneurship should be encouraged

Something curious is happening in the world right now. More and more people are moving away from doing business ’the way we have always done’, towards sustainable business models. But suddenly, these start-ups are under way higher social and environmental scrutiny. In my opinion, that is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.

We should praise people who dare to start doing business in a truly sustainable way. Who enter such a (still) very small bubble of businesses trying to convince people to use their money, time or influence the right way; for the benefit of the world around them. What I see around me right now, is that people founding a sustainable start-up face tremendous negative feedback on all sorts of small issues. From consumers, other businesses and sometimes media. The hurdle to start a sustainable business will become very high this way and that is exactly the opposite of what we need.

Encouragement inspires action more, than breaking initiatives down because they are not a holy grail from the get-go.

There is no start-up in the world that is perfect from the day it is founded, in general. Thus will be the case for sustainable businesses. These people are usually working so hard on improving certain conditions, apart from ‘just’ building a company – give them a break.

No, their shipping might not be ‘green’ from day one. The packaging might not be biodegradable. No, the founders might not live in solar powered houses. The start-up might be ‘on the way’ to a 100% sustainable product, but not there yet.

Take one second to look at the alternatives currently on the market, and start questioning those.

Then I’m convinced people will start to realise just what a hell of a task these start-ups take on. They are steering the market in a different direction, or even the World in a different direction. What if we would program ourselves, to question an industry, and not the one start-up we just heard about?

And what if – just what if, we would take a moment to write these start-ups a note of encouragement? Because we need to encourage fellow changemakers, in order to establish a safe environment where we can create a new system that is working for all and everything in the world.

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